Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

So have you heard the news yet?

General Mills will be debuting Gluten-Free Bisquick (and a few other items 😉 ) at the Celiac Disease Foundation’s Annual Education Conference and Food Faire in Los Angeles, on May 15, 2010!

I am still speechless (shocking, eh? Don’t worry, it won’t last for long. 😀 ) that this is actually happening so I will direct you over to Anne Steib’s article on so you can read it in more detail.  Anne is another one of my favorite bloggers, check her out at Gluten-Free Musings, I love her honesty, her spirit and her courage, and I think you will too.

The famous yellow box. I wonder what the gluten-free package will look like??

I grew up on Bisquick.

Bisquick Pancakes, Bisquick Biscuits, Bisquick Strawberry Shortcakes, Bisquick Impossible Pie Casseroles; you name it, my mom made it.  It was one of the products I missed most after my diagnosis 5 years ago (my 5 year diagnosis anniversary is actually this Thursday, April 29, 2010…woo-hoo! 😉 ), as that neon yellow box was an integral part of growing up for me.

Being diagnosed with celiac disease at age 31 meant I would never again eat the foods of my past… mainly, my mom’s “home cooking.”  That actually had a lot to do with my 3 years of “cheating,” before I finally sought help to come to terms with my diagnosis; but I will save that for my “About Me” page I will finally have up next month (it’s been difficult to write because I have evolved so much over the past 10 months that I have been blogging. What I write today, may not be entirely accurate tomorrow!).

I have long since moved beyond the “need” for food nostalgia (note that I didn’t say “want”), but the very idea that the day has come where Bisquick will again be an option (albeit, a GF option), almost moves me to tears.

That being said, I have made many homemade gluten-free versions of Bisquick over the years but the product that I think has come closest, at least in my memory, is Better Batter’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Baking Mix (I hadn’t been to the Better Batter website in a while, since I buy it in bulk (and am well stocked)… have you seen their new site? Very cool Naomi, I love it!!).

I have been using the Better Batter GF Pancake and Baking Mix for a few months now in those old Bisquick recipes from my youth.  One of my all-time favorite Bisquick recipes is the Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake, and the following is the original recipe that my mom always used to make, with my tweaks in red.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Streusel Topping

1/3 cup Original Bisquick Mix (I used the Better Batter GF Pancake and Baking Mix)

1/3 cup packed Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

2 Tbs. firm Butter or Margarine (I used 1 Tbs. Earth Balance)

Coffee Cake

2 cups Bisquick Mix (again, I used the Better Batter GF Pancake and Baking Mix)

2/3 cup Milk or Water (I used Skim Milk)

2 Tbs. Sugar

1 Egg

  • Heat oven to 375° F.
  • Grease 9-inch round pan.
  • In a small bowl, stir streusel ingredients until crumbly, set aside.
  • In a medium Bowl, mix coffee cake ingredients until blended.
  • Spread in Pan then sprinkle with streusel topping.
  • Bake 18 – 22 minutes or until golden brown.

I can imagine my mom enjoying this with me, in another life perhaps. 😉

I’ve also decided to launch a new campaign…

My all-time favorite cereal (I am not sure that anyone will even remember this cereal from the 70’s/early 80’s), was actually a cereal made by General Mills, called “Buc-Wheats.”

Now that the 1980’s seemed to have regurgitated all over the department stores and General Mills is a gluten-free super hero… maybe, just maybe, a reincarnated “Buc-Wheats” (that is gluten-free, of course… hey, I am not launching a cereal campaign that I cannot benefit from!).  Just replace the wheat with something else (corn or rice will work fine), replace the malt flavoring with molasses and manufacture in one of their dedicated facilities and we will be good to go! 😀

Oh Lordy Pete…I love those old commercials! 🙂

Two quick things I want mention; if you haven’t heard about the “30 Days to a Food Revolution” being hosted by Diane over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, it began today with a great post by Shirley Braden of GFE – Gluten Free Easily. Check it out and get involved for a chance to win some great prizes and learn some healthy new recipes! You can also “Like” The W.H.O.L.E. Gang on Facebook (is it just me or does that not roll as well as “become a fan?” 😀

Also, there is something really cool about to start… The Gluten-Free Challenge. If you have a friend or loved one with Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy (GSE), why not spend a couple of days walking in their shoes?

I did an EE (Eosinophillic Espophagitis) challenge a few years ago in support of one of Sam’s old playmates who had the disease. I ate nothing but chicken, sweet potatoes and grapes for an entire weekend. It was such an enlightening experience for me to better understand what someone else has to go through each and every day for the rest of their lives… 2 days was nothing in comparison. It really changed my life in the sense that it brought me greater awareness of the challenges other people face and instilled a level of compassion I had never known before. I am now thoughtful about making sure all children that come into my home for a birthday party, play date, etc. are made to feel like a regular kid by being able to eat what everyone else is eating. This is how I really became aware that young kids don’t care about the food itself… they really just want to play and eat what their friends are eating, Sam ate raw sweet potatoes sticks (to mimic carrot sticks) for years, just because his little friend did! 🙂

I am working hard at getting Sam to understand that he is different, but you know what? We all are, and that is what makes life interesting and fun. There are times though, when it feels good to sit at the table with our loved ones and be able to fully enjoy a celebratory meal (like the holidays) without having to watch with an eagle eye for a rogue bread crumb that may land on your plate. When I sit down with my parents, sisters and their families for a meal, I am not fully engaged in them because I can’t be while I am watching to make sure my son and I stay safe.

Of the roughly 1,095 meals a year we all consume, would 6 gluten-free meals be that big of a sacrifice? You might just find a few great new recipes that are naturally gluten-free to add to your mealtime! 🙂

I want to leave you with an excerpt from the Gluten-Free Challenge website that I think sums it quite perfectly:

Why have a Gluten-Free Challenge?

Living gluten-free can feel isolating, but it shouldn’t. We believe that if we invite our gluten-consuming friends and family to join us at the table, we can all enjoy a delicious meal together. Our goal is not to change everyone to a gluten-free diet, but to simply show our gluten-consuming friends and family that they can enjoy our food with us. We believe that everyone who to takes this challenge for their gluten-free loved one, will find that eating together is more enjoyable, easier and less stressful.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Banana Bread

This is the recipe my mom always used when I was growing up and I still use it today (not sure the original source), with my gluten-free “tweaks”.  I decided to make some the other night using a few other alternative ingredients just to see how it would turn out, and boy am I glad I did!  I think it is actually better than the original recipe, even in gluten-form!

I have been reading a great series of posts on sweeteners, both natural and artificial, on a fabulous blog called A Life of Sugar and Spice.  Jen has Crohn’s Disease and is chronicling her journey of healing herself through diet, including the elimination of gluten.  Jen also avoids dairy and keeps sugar to a minimum.  I like Jen’s blog because of her spunk. She says everything I want to say but thus far have been too chicken! 😉  She does a lot of research and writes great articles on topics that I am just recently becoming very interested in (after watching Food, Inc.).  Check out Jen’s thoughts on the film Food, Inc. and another great post on the difference between grass-fed and corn-fed beef.   Anyway, the sweetener series is called “Know the Facts,” and so far, Jen has posted on Agave Nectar (WOW!) and Honey.

I went with the honey for my banana bread.

I also bought some Soy-Free Earth Balance the other day to see if it worked just as well as Smart Balance (dairy) and Earth Balance (dairy-free) in baking.  I’m happy to say, so far, so good!.  I used the Soy-Free Earth Balance in this recipe as well.

I kept the eggs this time around because I do not like to change too many ingredients at once.  I am going to try this recipe again today using flax gel to replace the eggs, I’ll keep you posted on the results!

The original recipe is in black, my tweaks are in red.

Banana Bread (with my tweaks, this banana bread is gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free)

3/4 cup Sugar (I used 3/4 cup Honey. I referred to this article when figuring out how to replace sugar with honey)

1/3 cup Margarine (I used Soy-Free Earth Balance, which is also dairy-free, and gluten-free)

2 Eggs

1 cup Mashed Ripe Bananas

1/3 cup Water

1 2/3 Cup Flour (I used Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour. You can read the ingredients of Better Batter GF Flour here and more on their product info page here.)

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Baking Powder

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a bowl, combine: margarine (or healthier substitute 🙂 ), sugar (in my case, honey), and eggs (or egg substitute). Mix well.
  • Add mashed bananas and water to the margarine, sugar and egg mixture.  Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl combine: flour (**Better Batter has the Xanthan Gum already added so if you are not using a gluten-free all-purpose flour with Xanthan Gum, be sure to add the appropriate amount of Xanthan or Guar Gum to your flour blend), baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Whisk to combine the dry ingredients (I also sift mine to make sure everything is well dispersed).
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until all ingredients are moist.
  • Pour banana bread batter into prepared bread pan and bake 55 – 60 minutes at 350° F.  I do the prick test to make sure the bread is done.

I’ve been looking for more breakfast ideas that include protein, so I tried spreading some peanut butter on the banana bread and it totally ROCKED!  Think banana bread with an “Elvis” twist! 😉

Take 2 – 3 RIPE bananas and smash with a fork until it is almost a liquid consistency  (more like a pudding).

I only had 2 bananas and it came to just under a cup, which didn’t affect the final outcome.

Local Honey

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and GMO-Free! 😀

Honey, Water, Eggs and Soy-Free Earth Balance

Combine dry ingredients and whisk/sift before adding to the liquid mixture.

You do not need a mixer, I was being lazy!

Pour batter into prepared pan, then pop in the oven!

Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas

I’ve already posted a recipe (from Living Without Magazine) on gluten-free flour tortillas that are really good… but the day after they are made. Fresh off the griddle, they are not all that bendable; but after storing them in a Ziploc bag overnight they soften right up and work really well.

But then I met my new BFF, Better Batter Gluten Free Flour!

I have been experimenting like a mad woman with my new BFF that I got last week, which is one of the reasons I have been slacking on my blog, I can’t stop cooking (or obsessing over corn-fed beef and petri dish pork…yuck. Did you hear about the newest beef recall due to E.coli 0157:H7? Sorry, ADD check.)!

Anyhoo, I am 3/4 of the way through a 25 lb. bag of flour.

In a week.

I am very thankful for Sam and Luke’s teachers and Mike’s co-workers for being my taste test subjects, because otherwise, I would be up to my ears in baked goods and it is only January 18th. Too soon into the new year to start gaining weight! 😀

The Batter Batter tortillas are simply AWESOME!! Right off the griddle. In fact, they are best if you eat them right away. But if you make too many like I did, don’t worry. Just store the extras in an airtight container or Ziploc bag and give them a quick zap in the microwave before eating.

All I can think of is…

Huevos Rancheros, Enchiladas, and OMG! I have to make a BURRITO! A breakfast burrito. Holy #&%@!! I get to have a Red Chile (or maybe Green Chile…the point is I get a choice! 😉 ) breakfast burrito at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this year! I think I am gonna faint. WOO-HOO! (Breakfast Burritos are THE thing to eat at the Balloon Fiesta, and they simply do not work with a corn tortilla). The following recipe is from the Better Batter Website and republished with their permission. Thanks, Naomi!

Better Batter Flour Tortillas

3 cups Better Batter Gluten Free Flour

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

4-6 Tbs. Shortening (I used 6 Tbs. Spectrum Shortening, which is organic and non-hydrogenated)

About 1 1/2 c warm water

  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  • Divide into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a little ball and dust with more flour.
  • Heat up a skillet or iron to 350 degrees.
  • Working quickly, roll each ball out into a circle, about 6-8 inches wide. (I used the same method I did on the other tortilla recipe I posted. I rolled out the dough then used a saucepan lid to make a perfect circle).
  • Fry for about 15-30 seconds, flip and cook for about 10 seconds more. (I cooked mine on a griddle, like you would a pancake. I put about 1/2 tsp. Spectrum shortening on the hot griddle first so the tortillas wouldn’t stick)
  • Use immediately.

Nice little air bubbles...

So cool!

I wonder if this is how they make Pita Bread? Better Batter has a recipe for pita that I must try!

Flatten out the air pockets

Not a great photo, it's hard to take a pic while holding a tortilla in one hand!

I see soft tacos in my future!

Here is a video clip on how to make homemade flour tortillas. I wanted to post this to show you the air pockets/bubbles that occur when making gluten flour tortillas. The Better Batter tortillas got the same HUGE air pockets! 🙂

Shortening comparisons:


One ingredient. I like that!


Do you think it is GMO Soy? I don’t know, it is not labeled. Fully and Partially Hydrogenated oils! And what is TBHQ? It “enhances” storage life. So if I eat it, will it “enhance” or preserve my stomach too? It might not be a bad thing to eat if you want to be a mummy. 😉

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

I am finally taking a moment to breath and catch up on some posts!

A few weeks ago, I received a complimentary 2.5 lb. sample of Better Batter Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour to review. A quick bit of info on Better Batter: the ingredients are: Rice and Brown Rice Flours, Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Potato Flour, Xanthan Gum and Pectin. Some Better Batter product information: it is Kosher, made in a dedicated facility and is approved not only by the Celiac Sprue Association but also for use in the Feingold Diet by the Feingold Association.

Well, let me put it this way: I used up all of the flour in one day and my guys ate everything I made before I could get photos! I made “real” cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning (they were so good!) and even tried out some “Pigs in a Blanket,” which Mike proceeded to eat all of and Sam didn’t even get to try one!). I even made “Nutter Butter” cookies! I immediately ordered 25 pounds of the Better Batter GF flour and it arrived this past Friday. I have been experimenting like a mad food scientist and am having a hard time pulling myself away long enough to make a post!

I am going to do this “review” differently by showing the results of Better Batter in actual recipes. I think it is so awesome, that I may be switching from my beloved Tom Sawyer’s GF All-Purpose Flour, which uses gelatin instead of pectin. I really wish I could figure out what proportion to add these ingredients (gelatin and/or pectin) to my own GF flour blends, they have made all the difference in my GF recipes, although I think the pectin is winning out over the gelatin.

Hang on, deep breath: “omm…” (very helpful with ADD! 😉 )

Okay, so one thing at a time because I also have other very cool recipes to share too, like how to make your own (you will be able to make a dairy-free version too!) evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, liquid coffee creamers, beef jerky, GF “Hamburger Helper” Mixes, vegan marshmallows without gelatin (did you know that gelatin is derived from beef?) or agar agar, (and I am not a fan of the Kosher marshmallows made from fish gelatin, as I can taste the fish. Then again, beets taste like dirt to me, so maybe it is my palette! 😉 ). I am even closing in on a corn-free “light corn syrup!” I also have more condensed soup recipes (in fact, I will be revising the whole condensed soup “series” of posts because this has been a real journey for me and I have “updated” the condensed soup recipe many times, which is confusing even for me when I look up my own recipe on my blog! I am going to give the GF Magic Mix and each of the soups their own page.

Okay, enough rambling for now! I found the following recipe on Recipezaar (I like getting recipes from here because they have reviews) and with a few tweaks, I made a GF version. The original recipe is listed with my changes in red.

Easy Dinner Rolls (you will need to mix up the dough 2 hours – 3 days ahead of time)

1 cup Water (110° F.)

2 pkgs. Yeast (Do not use quick rising in this recipe) (I buy my yeast in bulk, so I used 5 tsp. Yeast… each package of yeast is about 2 1/2 tsp.)

1/2 cup Butter, melted (I used Smart Balance, but you can also use dairy-free Earth Balance, Earth Balance also makes a soy-free version)

1/2 cup Sugar

3 Eggs

1 tsp. Salt

4 1/4 cups Flour (I used Better Batter GF All-Purpose Flour)

  • Combine warm water and yeast in a large bowl (I used the bowl of my stand mixer); let stand for 5 minutes.
  • With a wooden spoon, stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt (I just added all of these ingredients into the bowl of my stand mixer).
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time and beat as much as you can (you will probably be able to use all of the flour) (Again, added to the bowl of my stand mixer and let it do the work for me! I just used the standard beater attachment since GF dough tends to be more of a batter consistency).
  • Cover and Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
  • Grease a 13×9 baking pan.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface.
  • Divide into 24 equal pieces (I divided mine into 20 equal pieces of 2-oz. each, if you do not have a scale, just eyeball it)
  • Roll each piece into a smooth round ball.
  • Place in rows in prepared pan. (I brushed mine with an egg wash: 1 beaten egg combined with 1 Tbs. water).
  • Cover and let rise for 1 hour; until doubled (here is a cool tip for rising: put the covered dough in a cold oven on the middle rack. On the rack below it, fill an oven safe dish with a couple inches of boiling hot water, then shut the door. This makes for ideal rising conditions! 🙂 )
  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 17 minutes.

My guys flipped over these dinner rolls! Sam even had one for breakfast this morning 😀 ) I want to learn how to make these using Agave Nectar, so if it works out, I will do an updated post later!